PhD+ Program

The Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes and the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University interact with students pursuing graduate degrees in science and engineering in a number of different ways. Students enroll in our classes, attend our EnLIGHTeNING lunches, and participate in our workshops in Washington, DC and elsewhere. Each of these forums introduce students to the social and political aspects of science and technology. Some students, however, want to take the extra step to integrate these ideas into their own scientific research.


The PhD Plus program was created to give students just such an opportunity. It is not a formal degree program. Rather it is a way to recognize those students who have taken the time to fully digest the implications of their scientific and technical work.

In the PhD Plus program you work with a CSPO faculty member to write an additional chapter for your dissertation, or some equivalent project, that explores the social implications, political context, or ethical concerns of your work. There is no formal process for this. All of that gets worked out between you, your dissertation advisor, and your CSPO advisor. Your CSPO advisor can be part of your official dissertation committee, or can simply advise you specifically on your PhD Plusproject.

There are many different reasons to join the program. Some students are simply curious. Others feel like there is something missing in their traditional technical education. And some students think they might want a job outside of a university after they graduate and are looking to get experience writing and/or thinking about science outside the laboratory. If you are interested, feel free to contact Jamey Wetmore at: [email protected]

We’re more than happy to work with you and your dissertation advisor to discuss options.


Tomasz Kalinowski, PhD in Biological Design
CSPO Advisors: Ira Bennett; Jameson Wetmore (also dissertation committee member)
Project: societal implications of bioremediation of toxic compounds in the environment
CSPO Advisor: Ira Bennett

Troy Benn, PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering
CSPO Advisors: Ira Bennett; Jameson Wetmore (also dissertation committee member)
Project: The political ramifications of Nanosilver toxicity, fate, and stransport
CSPO Advisor: Jamey Wetmore, (also dissertation committee member)

Jason Lappe, PhD in Chemistry
CSPO Advisor: David Guston (also dissertation comittee member)

Quinn Spadola, PhD Physics, 2008
CSPO Advisor: David Guston